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TaxesIn order to remove the threat of the fiscal cliff in the beginning of 2013, Congress enacted the American Taxpayer Relief Act.  This new legislation stopped tax increases for the middle class as well as budget cuts to important programs.  While overall this is good news, it could impact your divorce regarding how alimony affects your income and the amount of taxes levied against split property.

Spousal support is different from child support it is usually declared by the receiver and deducted by the payer.  This is important to know when reaching a divorce settlement how these payments can result in more taxes.  Structuring your payments can result in lower taxes and ultimately save you money.  Sometimes it is more beneficial to take a lump sum payment instead of monthly checks because they are non-taxable, but you should make sure that you can maintain your standard of living this way.

Division of property should also be monitored given new tax implications of ATRA.  There is currently a 3.8% Medicare surtax on capital gains, dividends and miscellaneous investment income if it exceeds $200,000 for a single filer.  Concerns like this should guide the agreement you reach with your ex to make sure you aren't on the hook for higher taxes.  This is just the tip of the iceberg for capital gains taxes.

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Posted on in Divorce

According to top10stop.com, Texas has the second highest number of divorces in the country on average each year, at 77,000. That number, of course, is inflated due to the large population of Texas—the only state not in the top five number of divorces included in the top five population is California—but it still means that a large percentage of Texans face divorce each year. According to the Texas Vital Statistics Unit (VSU), a unit of the Texas Department of State Health Services, the crude divorce rate in the state increased slightly from 3.3 per 1,000 residents in 2005 to 3.4 per 1,000 residents in 2006. There were 79,469 divorces in the state in 2006. Divorce in Texas- The Basics

The procedure for filing for divorce in Texas is more or less standard when compared to other states. The most important first step if you're considering divorce is to contact a Texas divorce attorney, because no matter how much research you do, divorce is a complicated process best undergone with the assistance of a professional. According to divorcenet.com, the second step of filing for divorce in Texas is for one spouse to file an Original Petition for Divorce with the court. At that time, the spouse can file a temporary restraining order if necessary. If no restraining order was filed, the other spouse has 20 days to file an "Answer." In that 20-day period, it's imperative that the non-filing spouse also obtains a qualified attorney—even if he or she is reluctant for the divorce.

The next step is one of "discovery," in which both spouses exchange information and documents pertaining to finances, assets, etc. The case then, hopefully, reaches a settlement, but if a settlement cannot be reached the case goes to court. In Texas, both spouses are required to attempt mediation before the case goes to court. According to divorcenet.com, "mediation is an informal process allowing the divorcing couple to work with a neutral third party (the mediator) to negotiate and settle all terms of their conflict.

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LeeviAn Arizona man who gave birth to three children after having a sex-change operation may not be able to divorce his wife, according to a recent story on WFAA.com. Thomas Beatie, who was born as a woman, underwent a sex-change surgery but his reproductive organs were not removed. Thomas and Nancy Beatie decided to file for divorce after 9 years of marriage. However, a judge is questioning whether the state's same-sex marriage ban prevents Thomas Beatie from ending his marriage.

A number of courts all over the country have declared marriages involving a transgender person invalid. However, according to Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, this case is different and has different factual and legal issues than other cases involving a transgender person. "What you have is a man and woman who are married, and their relationship is ending," he said. "And it's no different, fundamentally, from other people in that circumstance."

Thomas Beatie started testosterone treatments in 1997 and underwent surgeries in 2002. He was married to Nancy in 2003 in Hawaii and became pregnant because Nancy could not have children. Beatie gave birth to three children who are now between 2 to 4 years old. The married couple later moved to Arizona. Both agree that the marriage should end.

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